Summary: We trust God to supply our every need as we take the next step.
Title: Trust Is Taking the Next Step Part III
Text: I Kings 17:8-16 (16:29-33 and 17:1-7)
Thesis: We can trust God to supply our every need as we take the next step of faith.
God had sent the Prophet Elijah to let King Ahab in on what was about to befall him and the nation of Israel. This was the message, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel lives, the God I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain during the next few years until I give the word!” I Kings 17:1
We read about the reason for this impending prophecy of doom in I Kings 16:29-33:
A. Ahab had come to power and was the new King of Israel.
B. Ahab did more evil in the sight of God than any of the kings before him.
C. Ahab married Jezebel, a pagan princess from Sidon and began to worship Baal.
D. Ahab built a temple and an altar for Baal in Samaria and set up an Asherah pole.
Twice in the brief span of just four verses Scripture says, “Ahab did more to provoke the anger of God of Israel than any of the other kings of Israel before him.” (I Kings 16:29-33) So God sent his prophet, Elijah, to confront King Ahab and inform him that there would be consequences for his idolatry, i.e., a severe, extended drought.
In 17:1-7 we see God sending Elijah to a safe place… a remote place called Kerith Brook (remember Kerith means “cut-off). Elijah is so removed from the mainstream of life that in order to survive Ravens airlifted in bread and meat twice a day for him to eat and he drank fresh water from the brook. But eventually the effects of the drought which was originally just a meteorological drought from lack of precipitation turned into a hydrological drought in which the fresh water supplies began to dry up.
When Kerith Brook dried up God told Elijah to pack his duffle bag and move to the village of Zarephath near the city of Sidon. Today Sidon is the 3rd largest city in Lebanon and is on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Today it is made up of a population of 80% Sunni Muslim and 20% Christians and Shite Muslims. Then it was a stronghold for the Worship of Baal… the god of fertility promising abundant crops in the fields and babies in the nurseries.
Who decides how much is enough? How much is enough is a very subjective amount. It depends on who you ask. Because we believe God is a God of plenty we tend to think in terms of abundance. When the Israelites were dying of thirst, God had Moses hit a rock and water literally gushed from the rock. When the people were hungry God sent quail for meat and covered the ground every day with manna and told them to go out and gather whatever they could eat that day. When God told the disciples to cast their nets on the other side of the boat their catch was so huge the weight of the fish began to tear their nets. In the Gospel of Mark (8) Jesus took seven loaves of bread and a few fish and broke them into pieces and broke them into pieces and broke them into pieces until all 4,000 people had eaten as much as they wanted… after which the disciples picked up 7 large baskets of leftovers.
If abundance is the way God provides we assume a year’s supply of anything would be more than enough.
Slate Magazine ran an article last year asking, “What does a year’s supply really mean?” In that there is no legal definition the rule of law hinges on a “reasonableness test.” In other words, reasonable is a reasonable amount for an average person to consume in a year? In the case of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream they mean 52 pints, one pint per week for a year is enough. Ben and Jerry are not thinking in terms of an abundance of ice cream. For some people one good jag of depression would pretty much do in 52 pints of ice cream along with a ton of Oreo cookies, in which case, 52 pints would not be enough.
So, how much is enough? Elijah had lived for some time on bread and meat delivered twice daily by some ravens God sent to feed him by Kerith Brook. So Elijah discovered that he could trust God to lead him and to feed him – apparently enough.
So for Elijah the prophet, we might conclude that learning to trust God in the past, translated into trusting God in the future.
I. Trust means taking the next step… a promise. The next step hinged on a promise.